Reviews & Comments:

The Year the Music ChangedThe year is 1955. Isolated at school by her intelligence and disfigurement, troubled at home by the undercurrents in her parents' marriage, 14-year-old Achsa McEachern seeks solace in the music on her radio. After hearing a record by an unknown 20-year-old country singer named Elvis Presley, she fires off a deceptively self-assured fan letter, telling him he is going to be a star. Insecure in the world he is entering, and burning with a desire to succeed, Elvis answers her and enlists her to teach him how to use proper English.

Japanese and Italian Italian & Japanese Covers

The intimate and touching correspondence that follows chronicles their coming of age as artists and individuals. Able to confide in nobody else, they share with each other their most private dreams and fears. Elvis becomes Achsa's sounding board, as she watches her beautiful, distant mother and her sternly religious father lurch toward tragedy, confronts her own scarred mouth, and faces a shattering loss. The young singer's responses reveal his fierce, aching innocence in the year before his star burst forth, and offer a fascinating glimpse into the grassroots history of rock and roll.

[Since its publication in 2005 by The Toby Press, The Year the Music Changed: The Letters of Achsa McEachern-Isaace and Elvis Presley has been translated into Italian (Azimut, 2007) and Japanese (Poplar, 2006).A U.S. paperback edition was released by Lake Union Publishing in 2010.]